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Interactions of Human Pathogens within Vertical Farming Operations and Preventative Control Approaches to Enhance Food Safety


The project will assess the fate of pathogens introduced at different stages of microgreen (radish) and vertically farmed lettuce along with risk management strategies based on UV-LED or hydroxyl-radicals that would act as Controls as part of an overall Preventative Control Plan. Validation and verification of analytical methods. Fate of pathogens (toxigenic Escherichia coli, Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes) introduced onto the seed, growth substrate/solution, growing plants and during post-harvest storage. Assess the role of dormancy on persistence and plant interactions. Assessment and optimization of pre- and post-harvest interventions (LED, hydroxyl radical process and activated water) applied under different regimes for pathogen reduction without negative effects on plant development or shelf-life. Verification of selected treatments under commercial practice to confirm efficacy and logistical application. Final reporting and recommendations on food safety hazards with alternative cultivation methods and suitability of risk management tools.

Keith Warriner
University of Guelph - Department of Food Science (OAC)
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